White Sox GM bracing for busy off-season
If the White Sox are miserable again in 2014, general manager Rick Hahn is going to be sitting on a pretty hot seat right about now.
But with less than a full year on the job as GM, very few fingers are being pointed at Hahn as the Sox mercifully near the end of what could be their worst season since 1970 (56-106).
"I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about what could have been," Hahn said Monday afternoon before the White Sox opened a 10-game homestand against the first-place Tigers. "Our focus is more on hopefully getting the most out of the next 20 games, seeing some of the young guys contribute and put in position to demonstrate what they're capable of doing, and then hit the ground running once the off-season begins."
Last off-season, Hahn was pretty quiet.
He signed free-agent infielder Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million deal, which looks like a bad decision now.
Hahn also brought Jake Peavy back with a two-year, $29 million deal, and he wound up sending the veteran starter to Boston on July 30 in a three-way trade that brought right fielder Avisail Garcia to the Sox. So far, that looks like a good move.
There was a Matt Lindstrom here and a Conor Gillaspie there, but it was a pretty quiet first off-season for Hahn.
Look for that to change this winter after a disastrous season.
The White Sox' pitching staff looks pretty solid moving forward, but Hahn needs to make some major changes on offense.
The guess here is Jim Thome replaces Jeff Manto as hitting coach, assuming the future Hall of Famer is comfortable returning to the grind with a wife and two young children at home. Another guess? Thome will be ready.
After that, Hahn is looking at potential upgrades all over the field, with only Garcia a 100 percent lock to be back next season.
“Unfortunately, we have a number of areas that we need to upgrade,” Hahn said. “Where we have performed offensively, obviously being at the bottom of the league in runs scored, how we've performed defensively and how we've performed on the bases has been well below our expectations and well below acceptable, so we have a fair amount of work to do and we realize that. It's something that because of the way the season has gone, we have had a little extra time to prepare for what we wanted to do. We were able to do some of it at the trade deadline and hopefully come October and November, we will continue down that path.”